Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: The banks in Patna were not prepared for the rush of customers since November 10 morning to get Rs 100 currency notes in exchange of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes which have been declared “illegal” tenders. The banks were closed on November 9 and as they opened this morning, long queues were found on the roads leading to the branches of different banks.
As there was no clear guideline for the exchange of old notes with new ones like submission of an exchange form with photocopies of identity proofs, several customers had to face disappointment at first stage and they had to return to join the queue after getting their identity cards photocopied and collect exchange forms from the banks which too
went in short supply. Some of the IT savvy customers got the copies from RBI websites.
Bank staff were unprepared to meet the rush as they handled only exchange of new notes with old ones and taking depositing of old notes. In the SBI branch at Kankarbagh, there was no separate counter for women and senior citizens as announced earlier by the authorities. Though no other transaction took place on Thursday, the exchange of notes also could not take place smoothly due to shortage of staff.
At Central Bank of India branch on Frazer Road too long queues were seen till late evening on the road. At the main branch of SBI at Gandhi Maidan, many customers took leave from their respective office to deposit money and exchange old notes. Here too shortage of staff caused delay and there was near stampede like situation.
At Gaya branch of Punjab National Bank, clash took place between the customers and one customer was brutally assaulted by co-customers who too were in the queue.